[Startup Nomad Epilogue #3]Golden Ears

8 teams of Start-up Nomad returned from the 5 weeks acceleration program in the US. We heard about the results and post-program plans from the participating teams.

[Startup Nomad] Top Quality Sound From the Mobile App ‘Accudio’, Golden Ears

Accudio must have gained much attention in terms of technology.

People paid much attention to our technology of optimized tune corrections per product model since it’s not even covered by Dolby yet. The audience showed a good response when we actually demonstrated Accudio with $20 and $200 earphones. We were assured again about our service that people recognized the difference when we compared the adjusted sound by Accudio from a $20 pair of earphones with the sound from $200 earphones.

At the same time, we received constant feedback in regards of database and the size of the company, which gave an opinion that we need to enlarge the database by collecting more data from audio equipment based on our technology. In order to do so we concluded
that we need to recruit more people.

Golden Ears received a ‘Best Startup’ award in a Plug&Play Startup Nomad Demoday
Golden Ears received a ‘Best Startup’ award in a Plug&Play Startup Nomad Demoday

What would you recommend to Korean startups which plan to go overseas?

If you are thinking about going overseas, you should judge whether your service is good for the local market as well or for overseas markets only. If it is the latter, you’d better be incorporated in a foreign country first rather than at home, and if you think this is not right, a good alternative would be that you settle down at home first and detach only a sales department to the foreign market. While we were having a meeting in Silicon Valley, we actually experienced difficulties on our business proceedings many times when we mentioned that our HQ was in Seoul. Moreover, if you have to get invested here, you must set up an entity here.

There is one more thing you need to take care of when you have your team away from home, no matter by participating in a program like this or yourself. According to a couple of startups that have joined similar programs before, communication issues often arose between the team in a foreign country and the rest of the team in Korea. The size of the team is naturally small under the startup environment, and if this small team is divided into two, you will probably witness inefficiencies and cannot ignore the time difference issue as well.

In this case, you might encounter that you lose in both Korea and the US in terms of business proceedings, so you should be fully prepared and aware in advance that the company may incur additional costs in many aspects even when it is reimbursed by the program. What I’m trying to say with this case is that this kind of program might turn out to be a double-edged sword.

Please tell us more about your future plan.

We are currently talking with manufacturers in Korea about embedding Accudio within smartphones, and we will proceed as a B2B business first. Regarding B2C, we just uploaded the application in the Appstore and had not updated it yet, but as we had feedback that we would be able to receive investments through the application, we will try to manage it constantly. This was a great opportunity for us because with the previous circumstance we were not ready at all, we were able to find out what we would need in the future and plan beforehand.

Left: Woojin Cha, Global Manager / Right: Eundong Kim, CEO
Left: Woojin Cha, Global Manager / Right: Eundong Kim, CEO

While Golden Ears has dealt with audio equipment reviews, the CEO has run mostly everything on his own, but now we recently began building a team. We already have products, but not corresponding manpower yet, so it is a high priority to reinforce the team.
We will complement our database and participate at MWC in February of next year
in Barcelona. In this regard, we guess we can make a visible achievement by the end of the first half of the next year.

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